- The Washington Times - Friday, November 18, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Michael Scanlon, partner of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, was charged yesterday with conspiring to defraud Indian tribe clients of millions of dollars in a scheme that lavished golf trips, meals and campaign donations on a member of Congress.

In a one-count criminal information filed by the government, Mr. Scanlon was charged with conspiring with another lobbyist, who was identified only as “Lobbyist A.” It has been a matter of public record for more than a year that Mr. Scanlon and Mr. Abramoff had a fee-splitting arrangement and represented several Indian tribes.

The filing of a criminal information, rather than an indictment, often means prosecutors have reached a plea agreement with a defendant.

Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra confirmed that a hearing has been scheduled for Monday in Mr. Scanlon’s case but would provide no details.

Documents filed yesterday say that Mr. Scanlon and Lobbyist A recruited a member of Congress, identified only as Representative No. 1, with gifts, trips, meals, entertainment and campaign contributions to aid their effort to pass legislation.

Among the people subpoenaed in the Scanlon and Abramoff investigation was Rep. Bob Ney, Ohio Republican, whose name surfaced almost a year ago in a Senate Indian Affairs Committee as having extensive dealings with the two lobbyists and their tribal clients.

Mr. Ney has denied any wrongdoing and says he was duped into backing Mr. Abramoff’s clients and into taking a golf trip paid for by Mr. Abramoff.

Mr. Scanlon was once a top aide to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is investigating Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Scanlon and the more than $80 million they were paid between 2001 and 2004 by six Indian tribes with casinos.

In another investigation, Mr. Abramoff has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida on charges of fraud and conspiracy stemming from his role in the 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats.

Charges outlined in documents filed yesterday said that Lobbyist A solicited an Indian tribe in Mississippi in 1995 to provide lobbying services on taxes and other issues relating to tribal sovereignty.

The charging documents say the lobbyist then recommended that the tribe hire Mr. Scanlon’s company, Capital Campaign Strategies, while concealing the fact that Lobbyist A would receive 50 percent of the profits from the tribe’s payment to Mr. Scanlon.

The Mississippi tribe paid Mr. Scanlon’s firm $14.8 million from June 2001 through April 2004, while Scanlon concealed from the tribe that 50 percent of the profit “was kicked back to Lobbyist A pursuant to their secret arrangement.”

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